Paterson’s Explanation for Cuts, Not Sweeps

ALBANY—In Binghamton this morning, David Paterson stretched a bit when talking about his $3 billion deficit reduction package.

“This isn’t a deficit like we had last year growing out of the budget,” Paterson told reporters after an economic development roundtable. To close that deficit, the state used stimulus funding, restructured some Medicaid areas and raised taxes on high-income earners.

“The resources are half what they were last year,” Paterson said. “That’s the real problem, that we depleted so many different areas. We can’t use $600 million of stimulus money that we were able to use in the 08-09 stimulus money that came early. We can’t sweep New York Power Authority for $300 million like we did last year. We can’t go through other funding balances and get $400 million like we did last year. That’s why you saw cuts in the middle of the school year, further cuts to healthcare even though we cut Medicaid two-and-a-half times what it had ever been cut this year. That’s why we have gone in these directions, and they’re tough. They’re hard decisions. But we will share the burden.”

But Paterson’s package does count on sweeps and estimated one-shot revenues for about half of its size, including a $300 million sweep from the Battery Park City Authority.

Paterson has called a special session of the legislature for Nov. 10.

  Paterson’s Explanation for Cuts, Not Sweeps